Spring Cleaning Your Closet and Defining Your Personal Style

Now that we’re into the new Spring season and stores are stocked with cute skirts, colorful blouses, and hot shoes, many of us are spending morning after morning staring into the great abyss that is our closet wondering what to keep, what to sell/donate, and what to buy. There’s so much out there to choose from, so it’s hard to shop with a purpose; you want it all and just hope that whatever you buy works with what you already own.
Unfortunately – and I know this from experience – it doesn’t always work that way; you usually wind up with pieces that don’t look right with anything, shoes that were a bargain but hurt your feet so you’ve only worn them once, and basically, a wardrobe that really doesn’t define your true style. The great thing about fashion, though, is that at any given moment, you can revamp your look to project the image that you want the world to see: someone who has effortless style. You may not have a stylist at your disposal like your favorite celebs, but retooling your wardrobe is a breeze! Here’s how:

Defining Your Style
Hopefully you’ve been keeping your own Lookbook of styles/outfits that you’re drawn to over the last few months. We’re all style chameleons from time to time but at our core, we have a specific style that just works. For me, I’m classic with a twist. I’m drawn to blazers, cardigans, simple shifts, denim, and classic shoes. I try to experiment with colors and fabrics but generally, I stick to those pieces. On occasion, I’ll test new silhouettes as well. I know what works for me though, and the Lookbook I have is pretty consistent with that image.


What’s your personal style?

If you haven’t created one yet, it’s super simple. All you need is a big binder, clear sheet protectors, scissors, and tons of magazines. Cut out ads, editorials, street style photos, whatever. If there are celebrities who’s style you’d liked emulate, include those photos as well. Build a comprehensive book of images, and then make a note of the pieces/styles that are needed in order to recreate similar looks when you go shopping (save this for later). For more details on why Lookbook come in handy, read my post here.

Clean It Out
They don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing – clear out your closet. COMPLETELY. Now that you’ve determined what you want your look to be, take a day when you have nothing else to do and completely clear it out. Try on everything while making 4 piles: what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, and what to trash. The things you keep should be essential to your own personal style; those that you sell are still in great condition but don’t work anymore; those you donate should be in good condition but aren’t sellable, and those you trash have reached their lifeline.

When it comes to your keep pile, if you decide to keep something for nostalgic reasons (an old boyfriends’ shirt, for ex.) place it in a box in a separate area. Keep no more that 3-5 things. Other than that, make sure your keep pile are clothes that fit NOW, can mix and match easily, and aren’t 10 versions of the same thing (do you really need 6 pairs of black straight leg pants?)

NO. WIRE. HANGERS. EVER! Seriously, toss out the hangers that you’ve kept from department stores and the cleaners. Invest in a uniform set of clear, wood, or huggable hangers; whatever fits your budget. Doing so helps preserve space and looks better. Some people can afford full closet systems, but if you can’t there are so many other alternatives for making your closet look good so be creative. Woven baskets for camis, jewelry hooks on the door for accessories, clear dividers on shelves for handbags – the possibilities are endless. Map out how you want to sort your clothes (work wear, by color, seasons, etc.) and then place in their designated spot.

Everything in its place

Now that you’ve sorted through your closet, make your way to goodwill, a consignment shop, and/or a dumpster. You now have a clear idea of what pieces you need to add and the fun part (shopping) can begin! Stay tuned for tips on must-have pieces to add to your wardrobe this Spring!

If you’re unsure of what your own personal style should be, shoot me an email at I’ve created a quick questionnaire that can help you figure it out!

Cassie Taylor | Daughter of a Bluesman
Links à la Mode: The IFB (@_IFB) Weekly Roundup | March 29th


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